The Google Read Along app, which was first launched in India as Bolo, is now available in over 180 countries. The app can be accessed in nine languages, including Hindi, English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Read Along is an Android app that helps children of over 5 years of age learn to read stories out loud by giving verbal and visual feedback.
“Read Along keeps young minds engaged with a collection of diverse and interesting stories from around the world, and games sprinkled into those stories,” Google said in a blog post.
The app uses Google’s text-to-speech and speech recognition technology to help develop literacy skills, said Engineering Lead Zohair Hyder.
Read Along is available with an in-app reading buddy named Diya that enables children to learn and build their skills. It detects if a child is struggling or successfully reading the passage.
Diya gives children positive and reinforcing feedback same way as a parent or a teacher would.
Children can tap on Diya at any point while using the app. The in-app feature helps kids pronounce a word or a sentence.
Stars and badges can be collected by children in the app. This makes the learning process interesting and rewarding.
With Read Along, parents can create profiles for multiple reading and can track each child’s progress by tapping on their photo.
The app personalises the experience by recommending the right difficulty level of stories and games based on a child’s performance.
There are no advertisements or in-app purchases, and the app works offline. Parents can connect to Wi-Fi periodically to download additional stories on the app, the blog reads.
To use the app one does not require to sign in. Google says that the voice data is analysed in real-time on the device and is not sent to any of its services.